A Rare Chance For Humanity

By Brian Lamb, Medical Herbalist, Scotland
Presented at the Samento International Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, March 22, 2001

I am in charge of the largest phytotherapy clinic in Scotland and give lectures in the United States on weight control, nutrition and diabetes prevention. The aim of my visit here is not to share with you my clinical experience with Cat’s Claw but to help you understand how it works.

Let’s compare the mechanism of action of the herbs and drugs. What drugs do is bring about changes in physiology while medicinal herbs stimulate homeostasis. Drugs increase entropy and herbs decrease it; drugs require extra energy from the body and botanicals preserve its energy. Moreover, drugs are just simple chemical molecules while herbal remedies have an exceptionally complex structure. Most pharmaceuticals involve considerable energy consumption for metabolizing and elimination from the body. But I’d like to note that my presentation is not against drugs, I just make a comparison.

While most pharmaceuticals cause adverse reactions in the gastrointestinal tract and the excretory organs including the kidneys and the liver, herbals normally energize and tone these two organs. Cat’s Claw contains alkaloids that appear to have immunomodulatory properties. We know this plant has two chemotypes and the unique quality of the Samento product is that it only contains the beneficial POA alkaloids while lacking the antagonist tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOA).

Let’s see what the healers in the tropical rainforest think. They have accumulated knowledge that precedes the one obtained through chemical analyses. The chemical testing of the herbs supports what the healers have found out in the past. The effect of the TOA-free Cat’s Claw is confirmed by the healers from the tropical rainforest as well as by chromatographic analyses. And so, what’s the answer to the question how Cat’s Claw works? It acts as a whole as a phyto product. If we only isolate the alkaloids we shall probably find out that they represent apure form of toxins. We can therefore state the following: an indication for health is the use of the whole plant.

Phyto products supply that information that the body seeks but without making it wastes any energy. There’s a term - “alternative” - we use for botanicals, meaning “altering”. In English the word can be confused with alternative but actually means “leading to change”. I claim that Cat’s Claw really is a herb that alters. The basis, the essence of Samento’s action is in regulating the immune system. Now we know that if we lack a strong immune system, we are susceptible to anything, from flu to cancer. I stated just a few minutes ago that Cat’s Claw is a unique product for the time we live in. What’s so unique about it? It’s the changes in human lifestyle in the past six decades that lead to such fatal combinations as the toxin crisis, stress, lack of movement, etc. What do I mean? One in ten people on our planet suffers from some kind of liver condition and one in four already has a liver impairment. There are more than 100,000 chemicals in the environment and that puts a burden on the liver. We also have to face the facts about our nutrition. In the perfect case every meal has to correspond to a healthy recipe. But in fact most people neglect their bodies to such an extent that they’ll eat anything that’s put in front of them or advertised. One of the qualities of Cat’s Claw is that it has a beneficial effect on the liver. It stimulates, strengthens and detoxifies it. So Samento helps the body cope with toxins. But it also helps against stress. Anger is an emotion that leads to a momentary exhaustion of the immune system. Just 5 minutes of anger suppress the immune system for 6 hours. When toxic chemicals combine with uncoped stress, that results in us being so unhealthy. I believe that if we use Samento smartly, we’ll be able to turn the treatment in the opposite direction and bring it to a success. Some evidence from using Samento against cancer shows how much these positive results would multiply if we created a framework, a model of proper nutrition. I understand that your country has a high frequency of breast cancer, as the United States and the UK. The results from 20-year studies in the UK, that I support myself, show that the possible cause of breast cancer is cow milk and all dairy products including goat milk. What we need to understand is that in fact milk and dairy foods are growth stimulators. If you take Cat’s Claw to fight cancer my advice is to stop consuming cheese, milk and their derivatives. If you take Cat’s Claw to treat diabetes, you should replace the bread, which has a high glycemic index, with low-index products like lentils and beans.

When using Samento it is important to remember that it has to be accompanied by proper nutrition, drinking clean water and adequate physical activity.

Still how to explain the fact observed by many therapists that Samento cures almost everything?

It is very rare in nature to find a plant that has such a broad spectrum of different beneficial ingredients (nutrients) as Cat’s Claw. Our body needs the nutrients that Cat’s Claw is able to supply.

What are the contraindications? I wouldn’t recommend using Cat’s Claw in the first trimester of pregnancy because of its ability to inhibit cell growth. In my medical practice I have been using very small quantities of Cat’s Claw to strengthen the immune system of infants after 9 months of age.

The dosage I apply with such babies is 10 mg of Samento daily, with children older than 1 year - 20 mg, and for treating diseases - up to 27 mg a day. For adults I recommend 600 mg and for cancer patients - 2 x 600 mg daily. I’d like to repeat that the herb works better if you keep the proper diet. Especially when you treat a virus infection, it should be taken on an empty stomach. For fortifying the immunity of children it has to be given in the evening just before bedtime. And if used to treat cancer, the herb should be taken in the morning and evening. For joint problems and arthritis I recommend taking it in mid-morning and mid-afternoon with water.

There’s one way of taking Cat’s Claw that enhances its effect on the liver. Empty the contents of the capsule in 20 ml of cold water and hold it for 15 seconds in the mouth before swallowing. That way the receptors for bitter taste on the tongue (directly connected to the liver) are stimulated and improve the effect. Another alternative is to empty the powder from the capsule onto the tip of the tongue and again hold for 15 seconds before swallowing. There’s evidence pointing that Cat’s Claw tones and strengthens the heart muscle and certainly lowers blood pressure. For best effect on the heart muscle you need to empty the powder on the tongue to take advantage of the resorbent properties of the mouth mucosa.

I would advise those of you who use Cat’s Claw for treating serious conditions to take it along with other antioxidants. The perfect liquid you can take it with is Rooibos tea, which is antioxidant.

And finally I’d like to summarize: Cat’s Claw is a unique plant with extremely high density of the chemical information it carries. It is essential that you use the right chemotype of the plant - that is the TOA-free type, called Samento. And so: if Samento is administered within the framework of proper nutrition, it will restore the homeostasis and strengthen the depleted immune system.